What does it take to Profitable Trading?

By | April 24, 2021

Raj  puts many hours into his trading in more ways than one.  He studies the charts. He has his trading Journal and has all data a trader need to analyze . He’s glued to the screen during market hours and analyzing his traders after market hours and doing proper homework.

Raj  is a hard worker; working hard is second nature to him.  He worked hard to get into the right college, earned a degree in engineering from IIT  and IIM and got his dream job.

The freedom to be his own boss is what brought Raj into trading. Master of his own destiny.

With all his hard work, Raj is still about break even as a trader. What Raj doesn’t realize is that the skills that made him a good engineer are not the same skills that will make him a good trader.  Yes, there is a certain amount of study involved, but in the final analysis, for a trader, it’s about how you respond to discomfort. Not how much you study the charts, not how many spreadsheets you have, etc.

Raj did well on a paper trading, but with in Live trading he succumbs to the anxiety of interacting with a market that will always show some noise, some ambiguity.

Raj realizes that his hesitation to enter when he sees his signal and the inability to hold a winning trade are preventing him from succeeding.

Like many perfectionists, Raj is getting in his own way. And like many perfectionists, interacting with something as messy as the market brings up a lot of anxiety.  But instead of dealing with the issue, Raj spends more time searching for the answer in the charts, and in the advanced software he is having.

Deep down, Raj knows the solution to his problem is within him, not in the charts.  But by analyzing the external data (everything outside him) it keeps him busy.  That’s what many perfectionists do; perfectionists stay busy. 

The solution is to analyze the internal data (what’s inside).  It’s the internal data that causes you to hesitate, bail out of winning trades too early, ignore your stop, etc. It’s one thing to study the factors that cause the market to move, but it is more important to know what causes you to move. It’s the internal data…the emotions of fear, anxiety, the things that make you uncomfortable, that’s important and must be dealt with.

Your P&L is a result of your actions, not how well how analyze charts. Your actions, how you execute and manage your trades is not a function of analyzing the external data; your P&L is really more a matter of how well you manage yourself.

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